Saturday, April 02, 2011

Laurie Boschman

Following an amazing final season of junior hockey with the Brandon Wheat Kings (he scored 66 goals and 149 points as well as 215 penalty minutes playing along side Brian Propp and Ray Allison),  center Laurie Boschman was drafted 9th overall in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Now Boschman never really emerged as the offensive leader the Leafs had hope he would. A sophomore jinx coupled with a bad bout of mononucleosis doomed him, at least in the eyes of cantankerous Leafs owner Harold Ballard. Ballard publicly question Boschman's toughness due to his religious nature. He had recently became a born-again Christian, thanks in part to former Leaf Ron Ellis.

Boschman started a third season in Toronto but was hobbled by both Ballard and a bad stomach ulcer.  He requested a trade, and by the trade deadline he was moved to the Edmonton Oilers for Walt Poddubny. 

Boschman was a bit player with the increasingly mighty Oilers of the early 1980s. By the trade deadline in 1983 he was moved to Smythe Division rival Winnipeg.

Boschaman would be best remembered as a Jet. He would thrive playing behind Dale Hawerchuk. After scoring just 48 points in his first 4 NHL seasons he erupted for 74 points in his first season with the Jets. More amazingly, he accumulated 234 penalty minutes that season, too.

There must be something in the Manitoba air as Boschman enjoyed his best seasons, both in junior and as a pro in the Canadian province.  A poor man's Bobby Clarke, "Bosch" would be a dependable 70 point man for his first three seasons, while settling into an agitating third line checking role through the rest of the decade. 

In 1990 Boschman joined the New Jersey Devils for 2 seasons. His final season came in 1992-93 where he served as the first captain in the reincarnated Ottawa Senators history.  The Sens had a forgettable year (10-70-4, 24pts) but Boschman would be remembered for his great work ethic. 

All told, Laurie Boschman played in 1009 career NHL games (and another 57 in the playoffs), scoring 229 goals and 348 assists for 557 points. He also spent 2257 minutes in the penalty box. 

Boschman played one season in Britain after leaving the NHL. He soon returned to Ottawa as his adopted home. He  has been very active with Hockey Ministries International in retirement. 


Anonymous,  4:11 PM  

Dirty player and a total spot-picker. Good player, though.

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